What causes frequent urination?

Frequent urination is often caused by infection, inflammation or other conditions of the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra) or the reproductive organs.

Frequent urination can also be caused by diseases of other body systems. For example, untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can cause frequent urination due to a high concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which causes increased thirst, increased drinking, and frequent urination.

Urinary tract and reproductive system causes of frequent urination

Causes of frequent urination related to the urinary tract and reproductive system include:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (also known as BPH, which is an enlarged prostate)

  • Bladder cancer

  • Cystitis (bladder inflammation or infection)

  • Gonorrhea and vaginitis

  • Long-term use of an indwelling bladder catheter (a tube that drains urine from the bladder)

  • Overactive bladder

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (complication of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea)

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Prostatitis (inflammation or infection of the prostate gland)

  • Urinary incontinence

  • Urinary tract infections, such as a bladder infection and kidney infection (pyelonephritis)

Other causes of frequent urination

Frequent urination can be caused by diseases and conditions that affect other organs and body systems including:

  • Anxiety

  • Certain medications such as diuretics, or water pills

  • Diabetes (chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to use sugar for energy)

  • Exposure to cold weather

  • Pelvic tumor or mass

  • Pregnancy

What are the potential complications of frequent urination?

Complications associated with frequent urination vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Complications of untreated or poorly controlled diseases, such as diabetes and kidney infection, can be serious and even life threatening. You can minimize the risk of serious complications of frequent urination by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.

Underlying causes of frequent urination can lead to serious complications including:

  • Diabetic coma

  • Infertility

  • Ketoacidosis

  • Permanent kidney damage, kidney disease, and kidney failure (renal failure)

  • Shock

  • Spread of cancer (metastasis)

  • Urosepsis and septicemia (blood infection)


What is frequent urination?

Frequent urination, also known as urinary frequency, is a condition in which you feel the need to pass urine more often than usual. Frequent urination may occur due to a variety of reasons, some of which are not serious or harmful. For example, frequent urination may occur after drinking a lot of fluids, especially fluids that contain caffeine or alcohol. Pregnancy can cause frequent urination due to pressure put on the bladder by an enlarging uterus.... Read more about frequent urinationintroduction


What other symptoms might occur with frequent urination?

Frequent urination may be accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms can originate in the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra), the reproductive system, the endocrine system, the cardiovascular system, and other organs and systems of the body.... Read more about frequent urinationsymptoms

Medical Reviewer: Williams, Robert MD Last Annual Review Date: Apr 18, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System

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